Tropics Stay In Topeka
The Tropics are staying in Topeka-New Ownership.
The Topeka Tropics are here to stay! After announcing in August that the team might become inactive, a new ownership group was found. Three local business owners - Chad Logan (Logan Business Machines), Trevor Burdett (Doughboyz Pizzeria), and Josh Barr (Graystone Painting & Refinishing) have saved their beloved hometown football team with speedy decision-making on Sept 21st, so fans can continue enjoying great games at Stormont Vail Events Center!
How It Started
The story of the 2023 Topeka Tropics seems as likely as a Palm tree suddenly sprouting in Gage Park. The Tropics looked like they were on their way out of town, but against all odds, a 12th-hour ownership group came together, and a dream scenario became a reality for a group of friends. Kellen Seitz, the General Manager of the Storemont Vail Events Center, recently revealed the story to the Capital Journal. After months of inquiry and exploration, it took an unlikely event for this journey to come full circle and keep the Tropics in Topeka.
"He let us know the team had officially decided they were going to close shop and either move the team or close it down"
On Sept 21st, the group was having lunch when the Tropics came up in conversation. What happened next would turn into something very special. During the conversation, it was discussed that Bond had officially decided to move or close down the team. In response to this, Seitz was asked to contact Bond and explore one last long shot to keep the team in Topeka.
As luck would have it, on the Wednesday of that same week, Seitz contacted the group with an optimistic message, Bond was open to the idea, and negotiations started. A huge challenge was the fast-approaching deadline; the league meeting to approve the upcoming game schedule was slated for Friday at 3 PM Sept 23rd - giving them two days to put a plan together, with limited time to decide they had to act fast.
As luck would have it, on the Wednesday of that same week, Seitz contacted the group with an optimistic message, Bond was open to the idea, and negotiations started. A huge challenge was the fast-approaching deadline; the league meeting to approve the upcoming game schedule was slated for Friday at 3 PM - giving them a limited amount of time to decide. Hours later, the decision to keep the team in Topeka was made. Seitz pointed out that it was essential to act quickly to be ready for the 2023 season. Miraculously, everything fell into place.
"He called us back, about 5:30 last Wednesday night, a week ago today. He said, (Bond) 'I'd love to make something work."
The new owners contacted Russell Norton, who had served as the general manager last year and quickly laid out their vision for what they wanted to create for Topeka. Their primary goal is creating fun and family-friendly events and ultimately competing for championships.
The group expressed that with all of the supportive leadership from the community, this would inevitably prove to be a successful venture. The ownership group strongly believes in the community, which motivated their decision to take over the Topeka Tropics. Seitz pointed out that this was unprecedented, as there had yet to be a local ownership group for any of the professional sports teams at the event center previously. The group had agreed to a three-year deal and emphasized that they were not simply in it to make money - they wanted to build a thriving franchise for Topeka's residents.
Despite having a winless season in the CIF, the team still saw significant attendance figures. The ownership group stressed the importance of having a winning football product on the field and expressed his confidence that they would be able to drive up attendance numbers with their commitment to bringing an even better fan experience than before. To provide a truly memorable fan experience, the Tropics plan to introduce a beach-themed area in the eastern end zone. Guests can relax and soak up the atmosphere with beach sand, umbrellas, and beach chairs, along with an all-inclusive food and beverage experience for them to enjoy during the game.